Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Reminder : Louise Brooks film THE SHOW OFF to screen in New Hampshire

A New Hampshire theater will host a relocated version of the Kansas Silent Film Festival, an annual vintage film event cancelled this year due to Covid-19. In honor of the scrubbed Kansas festival, a three-day program of classic silent films with live music will be shown on the last weekend of February at the Town Hall Theatre, a two-screen independent movie house in Wilton, N.H. 

The "Kansas Silent Film Festival in New Hampshire," running from Friday, Feb. 26 through Sunday, Feb. 28, will feature vintage comedies and dramas starring performers with ties to the Sunflower State.
Among highlights is Louise Brooks in 'The Show Off' (1926); notably, a couple of the other films scheduled for the festival feature other personalities Brooks worked with, such as Wallace Beery, Ford Sterling, and Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle.
The festival also includes a rare screening of 'The Little Church Around the Corner' a 1923 melodrama featuring Kansas-raised Claire Windsor and actor Walter Long, a native of Milford, N.H. 
Also on the festival's program: the original silent film version of 'The Wizard of Oz' (1925), with comic Oliver Hardy playing the Tin Man. 
All screenings will feature live music by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based silent film accompanist who travels each year to perform at the Kansas Festival, held at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas."When this year's Kansas festival was cancelled," Rapsis said, "we figured we could stage a tribute event here in New Hampshire, where movie theaters are able to show films while observing Covid-19 safety precautions."
The Town Hall Theatre, a well-known independent movie house, reopened in July. It currently shows only classic films and other specialty programs due to the lack of first-run features in release. The theatre follows all recommended Covid-19 safety guidelines.
All "Kansas Silent Film Festival in New Hampshire" screenings are free and open to the public, with no tickets needed or available in advance. Donations are welcome, with proceeds going to support the Kansas Silent Film Festival, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Organizers plan to add Kansas flavor to the event by bringing in selected local delicacies from the Sunflower state. Between screenings, movie-goers may sample sunflower seeds alongside Porubsky's hot pickles, to be shipped in from an iconic Polish deli in Topeka. 
In Kansas, in lieu of live performances this year, the Kansas Silent Film Festival will host a program of virtual screenings for online viewing. For more info, visit In New Hampshire, each day of the relocated tribute festival includes two feature films separated by an intermission.
• Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, 7:30 p.m.: Claire Windsor in 'The Little Church Around the Corner' (1923) and Fatty Arbuckle in 'The Round-Up' (1920). Kansas-born star Claire Windsor stars in 'The Little Church Around the Corner' (1923), a labor relations melodrama with a role for Milford, N.H. native Walter Long; followed by 'The Roundup' (1920), a rarely screened feature film starring Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle (also from Kansas) that wasn't released in the U.S. following accusations of murder against the comedian, leading to a notorious series of court trials that exonerated Arbuckle, but left his career in ruins.
• Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, 7:30 p.m.: Silent screen icon Louise Brooks in 'The Show-Off' (1926) and Kansas-born actress Zasu Pitts in 'Casey at the Bat' (1927). In 'The Show Off,' actress Louise Brooks (from Cherryvale, Kansas) stars in the story of a working-class family's reluctance to accept their daughter's suitor. The film also stars Ford Serling in the title role, and Lois Moran. In 'Casey at the Bat,' Zasu Pitts (from Parsons, Kansas) stars with Wallace Beery, Ford Sterling and Sterling Holloway  in a cinematic retelling of the classic baseball story.
• Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, 2 p.m.: The original silent 'Wizard of Oz' (1925) plus Buster Keaton in 'The Navigator' (1924). In the final program, we're definitely not in Kansas anymore with the original silent version of 'The Wizard of Oz,' starring comedian Larry Semon as the scarecrow and featuring Oliver Hardy as the Tin Man! Then it's the timeless visual comedy of Kansas-born Buster Keaton, often called the most silent of the silent comedians. In 'The Navigator' (1924), Buster sets sail on a deserted ocean liner, riding a high tide of hilarity. Classic silent film comedy! 
For more about the Town Hall Theatre in Wilton, N.H., please visit or call (603) 654-3456. For more about the Kansas Silent Film Festival, visit For more about the music, visit

1 comment:

  1. Musician Jeff Rapsis posted a blog about the event:


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